|Publication number||US2588513 A|
|Publication date||Mar 11, 1952|
|Filing date||Jun 10, 1949|
|Priority date||Jun 10, 1949|
|Publication number||US 2588513 A, US 2588513A, US-A-2588513, US2588513 A, US2588513A|
|Inventors||Giacoletto Lawrence J|
|Original Assignee||Rca Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (28), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
March 1l, 1952 L. J. GIACOLETTO ELECTROSTATIC HIGH-VOLTAGE GENERATOR Filed June 1o, 1949 V f6 5 l1 A INVENTOR al1/milf@ ATTORNEY Patented Mar. 11, 1952 ELECTROSTATIC HIGH-VOLTAGE GENERATOR Lawrence J. Giacoletto, Eatontown, N. J., assignor to Radio Corporation of America, a corporation of Delaware Application June 10, 1949, Serial No. 98,303
(Cl. S-1) 18 Claims.
This invention relates to electrostatic high voltage generators and is particularly concerned with electrostatic generators in which mechani- -cal energy is converted to electrical energy by varying the capacity of a charged condenser.
As is well known, the electrical charge Q on `a condenser is equal to the product of the capacity C of the condenser and the voltage or electrical potential diiierence V between the condenser plates (i. e. Q=CV). Separation of the plates of a condenser, after the condenser has been charged to a given' potential V, will result in a Variation in potential which is inversely proportional to the variation in capacity, since Q will remain essentially constant. If the condenser is arranged to be connected alternately to a source of chargingpotential and to a load circuit, and if the condenser be charged in the maximum capacity position and discharged in the minimum capacity position, the energy applied in separating the plates will be delivered to the loadas electrical energy at a potential which is higher than the charging potential by the ratio of maximum to minimum capacity. A system of this general type is disclosed and claimed in a copending application Serial No. 19,945, filed April 9, 1948, Patent No. Y
C. Kennedy, entitled High Voltage Power Sup-l ply, and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.
In a system of the foregoing type, the energy delivered to the load will be equal to the product of the charge and the maximum potential, while the power delivered to the load will be equal to the product of the energy and the cyclic rate of operation per unit of time.
It will, therefore, be apparent that both output potential and output power will depend upon the maximum capacity of the condenser, the ratio of maximum to minimum capacity, and the charging potential, and that the power output will also be dependent upon the cyclic rate' of operation.
A general object of this invention is to increase the voltage multiplication and power output obtainable from electrical generators of the type described.
Another object of the invention is to increase the voltage and power output of electrostatic generators by increasing the maximum capacity of the condenser relative to its physical size.
Another object of the invention is to increase the voltage and power output of electrostatic generatorsyby increasing the ratio of maximum to minimum capacity relative to the physical displacement of the plates.
Still another object of the invention is to prevent or reduce the leakage of charge from the condenser during the period when the condenser capacity is being reduced.
Yet another object of the invention is to increase the cyclic rate at which the condenser may be charged and discharged by reducing the physical size of the condenser and the amplitude of displacement of the condenser elements.
A further object of the invention is to provide improved mechanism for delivering mechanical power to theV condenser.
In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the foregoing and other objects and advantages are attained by providing a layer of dielectricxmaterial, having a dielectric constant higher than that of air, between the plates of a variable condenser of the type in which the plate movement is at right angles to the surfaces thereof. In this manner, the maximum capacity of the variable condenser is enormously increased, as well as the total available capacity change.
A more complete understanding of the invention can be had by reference to the following description of illustrative embodiments thereof when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a schematic diagram of a portion of a generator constructed in accordance with the invention;
Figure 2 is a more detailed illustration of a generator constructed in accordance With the invention;
Figure 3 illustrates a modication of the invention in which the condenser is enclosed within an evacuated envelope; and
Figure 4 is illustrative of a generator in which novel electronic switching means are employed for charging and discharging the condenser.
It should be understood that the drawings are not to scale, certain dimensions being exaggerated for the sake of clarity. This is particularly true with respect to the spacing betweenl the condenser plates and the thickness of the dielectric employed.
The generator illustrated in Figure 1 includes a variable condenser 8 having a fixed plate I0, a second plate H adapted to be shifted toward and away from the ixed plate l0 (between the positions indicated by Il and Il), and a layer of dielectric material I2 deposited on or secured to the plate l0. The thickness of the dielectric is indicated a'sfdi, and the amplitude of the movement of the plate I l is indicated as dz.
When the plate l I is in the maximum capacity postion Il', it engages a contact member I3 having a contact face I4 coplanar with the exposed surface I 5 of the dielectric layer I2. A discharging contact member I8 is disposed to engage the plate II when the latter is in the position II corresponding to minimum capacity of the condenser 8.
The contact member I5 is connected to a load shown as a resistor I8. In lorder to filter out pulsations in the load voltage, a lter capacitor I9 may be connected across the load I8. The variable condenser 8 is adapted to be charged from a low voltage source 28 which is connected between the contact I3 and the condenser plate I0.
I'he dielectric layer I2 may comprise any material having a dielectric`constant higher than that of air or vacuum, which, for the purposes of this specification, will be taken to be unity. As will appear more fully hereinbelow, it is desirable that the dielectric constant orgthe layer VI2 be as high as possible, and, accordingly, I prefer to use materials of the barium-strontiumtitanate type, whose dielectric constants are of the order of'thousands.
Qualitatively, the operation ofthe device is as follows. Assume the starting position of the movable plate I I to be as indicated by the do-tted -outline II. In this position, the plate II will engage the contact member I3, and the condenser 8 will receive a charge from the source The potential across the condenser 8 will `be equal to the potential of the source 20. If, now, the plate I I be shifted away from the dielectric layer I2, through a distance d2, the capacity of the condenser 8 will be decreased, and, assuming that the charge remains constant, the 'potential difference between the plates I0, II must increase. When the plate II engages the contact I 6 (which is at a lower potential than the new potential of the plate I I)`, the condenser 8 will discharge into the load I8 and the lter capacitor I9, reducing the potential across the condenser 8 to a value determined by the time the discharge continues and the rate of discharge. If the condenser plate II is now shifted back to its original position II', upon engagement with contact member I3 the condenser 8 will again be charged to the potential of the charging source2ll.
Quantitatively, the voltage multiplication achieved may be expressed in termsy of the ratio of output. potential Vo to Charging potential Vc :Cl'L-KleO-:maximum capacity of the conde-users 50i-:the dielectric constant of free space: 8.85 10-12 farad/meter Vo=output potential in volts XTC-:charging potnetial in volts A=the area of the dielectric layer I2 Ki=the relative dielectric constant of the di-l electric layer I2 K2=the relative dielectric constant of vacuum, air, or other gaseous medium in which the device-is operated *di-the' thicknessY ofthe dielectric layer I2 dz=the amplitude of movement of the plate II'` 'from 'the above expression that the ratio of'maximum capacitance C1 to minimum capacitance C2, to a first approximation, will be 1000 to 1; that is, the ratio of maximum to minimum capacity will be approximately equal to the ratio of K1 to K2. This enormous ratiol is attributable to the fact that the capacity of the condenser 8, at maximum capacity, is that of a condenser having a very large dielectric constant, while the capacity in the minimum capacity position is that of two condensers in series, due to the formation of a surface charge at the exposed surface I5` of the dielectric layer I2. For this reason, the ratio of maximum to minimum capacity is very high as compared with the amplitude of displacement of the plate II, and as will appear more fully hereinbelow, is very much higher relative to the displacement than has hitherto been obtainable.
It will be seen that, in order to obtain the optimum. ratio of maximum to minimum capacity, it is necessary to reduce the minimum magnitude of the distance (Z2 v to the smallest possible Value. I have found that this can be accomplished by polishing the surface I5 of the dielectric layer I2 and also polishing the lower surface of the plate II in. order to provide for extremely intimate engagement between the movable plate II and the dielectric layer I2.
It will also be understood that the increase of the maximum capacity through the employment of dielectric materials havinghigh Vdielectric constants and the provision of extremely intimate engagement between the movable plate II and the dielectric I2 renders it possible to increase the power output obtainable from a condenser of the same area and'with the same amplitude of displacement of condenser plate II, or, conversely, that. the same output can be obtained with either a smaller condenser or a smaller range of movement, or both.
Because the potential across the condenser 8 will increase with extreme rapidity, particularly at the time when the movable plate II' is just 'breaking contact with the dielectric I2, it is important that the breaking of the contact between the movable plate I Iv and the contact I3 be ac- "curately timed'. For example, if the movable plate I I should move an appreciable distance from the dielectric I2 while the plate II is still connected` to charging source 20, the charge would leakv oi into the charging source. Accordingly; it is desirable that the movable plate II be disengaged from the charging contact I3 at least as soon as the plate II begins' to disengagethe surface of the dielectric I2. In Fig. 1, this is accomplished, as has been mentioned, by polishing the contact surface I4 so that the latter is coplanar with the surface I5 of the dielectric layer I2.
The electrical energy delivered to the. load I8 is derived almost entirely from the mechanical Work done in varying the capacity of the condenser 8. Since the amplitude of displacement of the movable plate I I isV relatively small, the actuating force must be proportionately large In Figs. 2 and-3, I have illustrated two practical ways of supplying the required mechanical force to the condenser. In Fig.. 2,v the movable plate I I isz supported by a flexible diaphragm 2 I, which iS,`. ,in turn, supported on a vshoulder 22. Connected to the diaphragm4 2I 'is a coil structure 23, comparable in construction` to the movingcoil .of a dynamic loudspeaker'. The coil structure 23 may comprise a coil former and winding as shown, or may comprise a self-supporting coil voi usual form. A permanent magnet 24 supplies apolarized field with which the field of the coil structure 23 will interact. The coil structure 23 is supplied with electrical energy in the form of alternating current from a source 25. The moving system comprising the condenser plate I I and the diaphragm 2I is preferably mechanically tuned to resonance at the frequency of the driving source 25 by proper choice of the mechanical parameters of mass, compliance, etc.
Since the potential across the condenser 8 will increase with great rapidity, particularly at the beginning of the movement separating the plates I0, II, the potential gradient between the moving plate I I and the charging contact I3 may eX- ceed the breakdown potential of air, Awith the result that arcing will occur between the plate I I and the contact I3. Accordingly, where the operating conditions are such as to produce potential gradients of this order, it is preferable to operate the device in a vacuum, as illustrated in Fig. 3, in which I have illustrated a pair of insulating and supporting members 26, a first con- -denser plate 21 resting on, but free for movement above, the supports 26, a dielectric layer 28 aiixed to the center of the plate 21, a charging contact in the form of a plate 29 disposed below the support 26, and a moving plate 30 supported by a diaphragm 3| of flexible insulating material, such as rubber. The plate 30 is capable of movement upward and downward and is adapted to be moved by an alternating magnetic eld set up by a coil 32 and a core 33. When the moving plate 30 is attracted by the coil 32, the plate 30 will move downwardly and engage an output contact 34. Toward the other extreme of its motion, the plate 30 first will engage the lower surface of the dielectric layer 28, and, continuing upward, will carry the dielectric layer 28 (and the plate 21) upwardly until the plate 30 engages the charging contact 29. During the downward half of the cycle, the plate 30 will clear the charging contact 29 but will remain in engagement with the lower surface of the dielectric 28 until the plate 21 comes to rest on the supports 26. In this manner, the plate 30 is well separated from the charging contact 29 before the potential on the plate 30 begins to increase above the potential of the charging source 20. 'I'he condenser formed by the plates 21, 30, and contact members 29, 34 are enclosed in an evacuated envelope 35, as a result of which difliculties due to ionization are eliminated. f
In Fig. 4, I have illustrated an arrangement whereby mechanical switching can be entirely eliminated without incurring high voltage insulation problems. It is, of course, well known that conventional rectifier tubes can be used for electronic switching, except that Where high voltages are involved insulation problems often make conventional rectiflers impractical to use. In Fig. 4, I have illustrated diagrammatically a fixed plate I 0, a moving plate II, and a dielectric layer I2, which represent the corresponding elements of the arrangements disclosed in Figs. '1 and 2, I also have illustrated a coil 23 representing an electromagnetic driving arrangement for the condenser 8, similar to that shown in Fig. 2, and adapted to be energized by a source of alternating current 23. I also show a secondary-electron dis-A charge device 38 comprising a thermionic cathode-39 (which may be directly or indirectly heated by a filament, not shown), a pair of control gridsV 4 0, 4I, a, pair of dynodes (secondary electron emitters) 42, 43, and a pair of collector electhe condenser 8.
stood that these elements might also be enclosed by separate envelopes and provided with separate cathodes. Rectier circuits utilizing tubes of this type have been described more fully and claimed in my copending application Serial No. 98,302, led June 10, 1949, now Patent #2,504,322, issued April 18, 1950, for Electrical Transfer Network. In the arrangement of Fig. 4, the xed plate I0 is grounded, as is one terminal of a source of charging potential 28 and one terminal of the output circuit diagrammatically represented by a resistor I8. The movable condenser plate II is connected to the dynode electrode 42 and to the collector 45. The positive terminal of the charging source 46 is connected to the collector electrode 44, and the positive terminal of the output circuit is connected to dynode 43.
Ignoring, for the moment, the presence of the grids 40, 4I, the operation of the circuit will be as follows: assume that the apparatus is started with the condenser plate II touching the dielectric I2, i. e., the condenser 8 is at maximum capacity. Electrons emitted from the cathode 39 will strike the dynode 42, which will emit secondary electrons. The secondary electrons from the dynode 42 will bedrawn to the collector 44 by virtue of the positive potential across the charging source 29. Accordingly, the dynode 42 and the condenser plate I I will be raised to the potential of the output terminal of the charging source 20. Assume now that the plate II begins to move away from the dielectric I2. As the potential of the plate II (and, hence of the dynode 42) rises above the potential of the collector 44, the flow of secondary electrons from the dynode 42 to the collector 44 will terminate. The potential on the moving plate II will continue to rise, and ultimately will reach a value exceeding the potential of the positive terminal of the output circuit. Since primary electrons from the cathode 39 will be striking the dynode 43, secondary electrons from the dynode 43 will be drawn to the collector 45, thus transferring energy to the output circuit and reducing the charge on the condenser 8. As the movement of the plate I I reverses and the plate approaches the dielectric I2, the potential of the plate II will decrease until it falls below the potential of the collector 44 on the left-hand side of the tube 38, at which time secondary electrons will again be drawn from the dynode 42 to the collector 44, recharging the condenser 8.
However, the operation discussed above would not be satisfactory for the following reason: consider the condition which will exist when the plate II is moving away from the dielectric I2 and the potential of the dynode 42 has risen above that of the collector 44. As has been stated above, secondary electrons will no longer be drawn to the collector 44, and the condenser 8 will be effectively isolated from the charging source 46. However, primary electrons from the cathode 39 will be attracted to the dynode 42 by virtue of the high potetnial thereon, and will tend to discharge Similarly, primary electrons from the cathode 39 will be attracted to the ary electrons are removed from the dynode 43 by thev collector 45 in greater vnumber than the number of primary electrons striking` the dynodel 43.
I eliminate this problemY by employing the grids 40, 4l to control the twoA electron streams inY such a way that primary electrons will strikethe dynodes 42,v 43 only during the periodswhen secondary electrons are being. removed: from the dynodes. While other means of obtaining the necessary control potentials will occur to those skilled inthe art, I prefer to accomplish this by energizing. the grids 40, 4| 180 out of phase by a voltagel derived from the source 3l. In this way, extremely precise control of the tw'o electron streams can be obtained and theelectrical operating angle of the two electron streams (i. e.. the portion of the cycle during which the condensers 21, 30'will be discharged due to primary' electron flow from the cathode 39) can be controlled with nicety. In order to insure the release of secondary electrons from the dynodes 42, 43' during initial chargc buildup, the cathode 33 is preferably biased slightly negative with respect to ground, as by means of a tap on a bias battery'Ec.
Since many changes could be made in the' apparatus shown and described, all' Within the scope and spirit of the invention, the foregoing is to be construed as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
l. An electrostatic device comprising a first condenser plate, a second condenser plate, a solid dielectric layer between said plates, means for periodically moving one of said plates in a direction substantially at right angles to the surface thereof to vary the `relationship between said plates from a first condition in which said plates are in intimate contact with opposite faces of said layer to a second condition in which said one plate is spatially separated from said layer, a source of charging potential, a high voltage utilizing circuit, rst switch means' arranged to interconnect said one plate with said source' while said one plateis in contact with said layer and to break said connection at least as soon' as said one' plate begins' to shift from said engagement, and second switch means to interconnect said one plate with said circuit in said second condition.
2. An electrostatic device comprising a first condenser plate, a dielectric layer thereon, a second condenser plate movable substantially at right angles to the surface thereof into and out of engagement with said dielectric layer, a source of mechanical energy for so moving said plate, a source of potential, an output circuit, a switch element arranged to make a connection between said movable plate and said potential source when said plate is in engagement with said dielectric and to break said connection at least as soon as said plate moves from engagement with said dielectric, anda second switch element for connecting said movable plate to said output circuit when'said movable plate is out of engagement with said dielectric.
3. An electrostatic generator including a condenser comprising a pair of parallelv plates mounted for movement toward and away from one another and a solid dielectric layer on one of said plates, means for eifecting relative. movement of said plates in a direction substantially at right angles to the surfaces thereof from a fir-sti position` in which both plates' are in intimate contact with saidA layer' to asecond position in which one of said plates is out of contact' with said? layer, means including a first 'sriitcli for charging said condenser' when said plates are inl 8 said rst position, and means including a second switch' for discharging said condenser when said plates are ini said second position.
4. An electrostatic generator including a. condenser comprising parallel condenser platesg. a solid dielectric therebetween, mechanism for shifting said plates relative to one another inv a direction substantially at right angles to the sur- `faces thereof from a rst position in which said plates are separated only by said solid dielectric to a second position in which said plates are separated by a distance greater than the thickness of said dielectric, means including ajswitch for charging said condenser' when said plates are in said rst position, and means including a second switch for discharging said condenser when said plates are in said second position.V
5. In an electrostatic generator ofv the' type which comprises means for (l) charging aI variable condenser at maximum capacity, (2) reducing the`-capacity of the condenser, and (3) discharging the condenser, in combination, a variable condenser comprising a pair of condenser plates movable relative to each other in' a direction substantially at right angles to the surfaces thereof, and a solid dielectric disposed between said plates and having a dielectric constant substantially greater than unity and of thickness equal to the separation of said plates in the maximum capacity condition.
6. An electrostatic generator comprising a'- first condenser plate, a dielectric' layer injuxtaposition to said plate, a second condenser plate adapted to be juxtaposed' to the opposite' face of said dielectric layer', mechanism forshifting said second plate from said juxtaposition to a position removed therefrom by a distance comparable to the thickness of said layer, and means for charging and discharging the condenser formed by said plates when said second plate is in said juxtaposed and second positions, respectively.
7. The method of deriving a high electrical potential, said method comprising the steps of juxtaposing a conductive plate to the exposed side of a dielectric layer disposed on a second conductive plate, connecting the condenser formed by said plates to a source of charging potential, disconnecting said plates' from said source, moving said first plateaway from said layer in a direction substantially at right angles to the surface thereof, and connecting said condenser to a utilizing circuit.
8. An electrostatic device comprising a fixed condenser plate, a dielectric layer thereon, a second condenser plate movable to and from engagement' with the face of the dielectric layer not engaged by said rst plate', a charging contact for the movable plate coplanar with the' exposed faceof said dielectric', and a discharging contact arranged to engage the movable plate wheny said movable plate is outV of engagement with said dielectric.
9. An electrostatic generator comprising a v'ariable condenser including (l) a pairv of condenser plates movable relative to each other in a direction substantially at right angles to the surface thereof and (2) a solid dielectric of thickness equal to the separation of`said plates when said condenser is in the maximum capacity.' condition and. having a dielectric constant.;substantially greater thanv unity, and drivey mechanism for for varying the capacity of said condenser, said mechanism being'turied to mechanical reschance at' the driving frequency" thereof:
10. A construction in accordance with claim 9 in which said drive mechanism comprises an electromagnetic system energized by an alternating electric current of a frequency equal to the mechanical resonance frequency of said driving mechanism.
11. In a source of electrical energy, in combination, a variable condenser, means for mechanically varying the capicity of said condenser from a maximum to a minimum value, and a secondary electron discharge device for connecting said condenser to an external circuit, said device including a dynode electrode and a collector electrode, one of said electrodes being connected to said condenser and the other of said electrodes being connected to said circuit.
12. A construction in accordance with claim 11 in which said external circuit isa charging circuit.
13. A construction in accordance with claim 11 in which said external circuit is a discharging circuit.
14. A construction in accordance with claim 11 including two of said devices and a source of charging potential, one of said devices interconnecting said condenser and said source of charging potential, and the other of said devices interconnecting said condenser and said external circuit.
15. A construction in accordance with claim 11 including a source of periodically varying current, and a control electrode in said device, said capacity varying means being energized by said current source, and said control electrode being energized by said current source to limit the electrical operating angle of said device.
16. A source of electrical energy comprising a variable condenser, means for mechanically varying the capacity of said condenser from a maximum to a minimum value, means for charging said condenser at maximum capacity, and means including a secondary electron discharge device for discharging said condenser at minimum capacity, said device including cathode, dynode and collector electrodes, said cathode being operated at about ground potential, said dynode being connected to a potential utilizing circuit, and said collector being connected to said condenser.
17. A source of electrical energy comprising a variable condenser, means for mechanically varying the capacity of said condenser from a maximum to a minimum value, means for discharging said condenser at minimum capacity into a load circuit, and means including a source of charging potential and a secondary electron discharge device for charging said condenser, said device including cathode, dynode and collector electrodes, said cathode being operated at about ground potential, said dynode being connected to said condenser, and said collector being connected to said source of charging potential.
18. A source of electrical energy comprising a variable condenser, electromechanical means including a source of periodically varying current for varying the capacity of said condenser, an `electron discharge device for connecting said condenser to an external circuit, said device including dynode and collector electrode, one of said electrodes being connected to said condenser and the other of said electrodes being connected to said circuit, and said device further including a cathode to supply electrons for bombardment of said dynode and a control electrode for controlling the bombardment of said dynode, said control electrode being connected to said source of varying current.
LAWRENCE J. GIACOLETTO.
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|U.S. Classification||322/2.00R, 361/290, 310/309, 361/289|
|International Classification||H02M3/18, H02M3/16|